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Charles Kupchan Education. (2012) 2012 National Book Festival Charles Kupchan, 'No One's World The West, the Rising Rest and the Coming Global Turn.' New.

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China 18, Us 14, United States 13, India 7, Pendulum 5, Islam 4, Turkey 4, America 4, Brussels 3, Baker 3, Brazil 3, Malcolm O'hagan 3, Boston 2, Goldman Sachs 2, Hawkins 2, Francis 2, Washington 2, Rocky Flats 2, North America 2, Chicago 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Charles Kupchan  Education.  (2012) 2012 National Book  
   Festival Charles Kupchan, 'No One's World The West, the Rising...  

    November 5, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00am EST  

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35 million. that's to develop the initial space. it will be about 30,000 square feet. phase two will be an additional 15 million, and phase three another 50 million. and then about 20,000,004 endowment to make sure that the museum is sustainable. that's the big issue today with amusing. you can start with a bang and then you can go out with a whimper. so we're determined that this museum is going to be around for a very long time. part of the businessman has to ensure that. >> 30,000 square feet, can you give us a comparable space to give us an idea of how big that is? >> well, the 30,000 square feet, half of that is exhibit space and than half of it is for the
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shop, for the social areas and so on. i would say that is comparable to, well in chicago, the history museum. here in washington, probably the international flight museum which is one of our model successes. a fun and engaging place for people to go to. so that will probably be a couple of examples. >> malcolm o'hagan, it's october 2012 and we're taking this interview. where are you in the process right now? >> we have just about all of the sort of foundation documents in the space with the businessman, the concept men. back into the we will be analysis completed by the end of the we will have the fundraising strategy in place, and we will be ready to move forward with the next phase, which, of course, is the fundraising. starting to develop the exhibit ideas in more concrete terms.
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i should've mentioned that actually out our website we have our first exhibit and would very much encourage her viewers to go the. it was inspired at the fact that we are world leaders at the united states this spring and without of be very interesting to look at what the american writing influence has been some surprises. there are basically three parts to the exhibit. so that is one, looking at what is influence the foreign leaders. we have leading authors that we asked them what american works they would recommend to a very -- american theaters to help them better understand america on different recommendations, and why. we asked them what foreign authors have influenced their work. we've also asked them how would they have a originally inspired to write. so you've got jonathan and tc boyle, a lot of wonderful writers are featured in that.
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again, urge your viewers to check it out. again, people who go to the website to make their own recommendations on what they think a foreign leader should read. >> american writers -- americanwritersmuseum.org is the website. also tweaked out on a regular basis but we will put up or twitter handle as well. malcolm o'hagan, can people donate to the american writer's museum at this point? >> we talked two years ago, peter, they could not. we didn't have a donate button. so that's where the other developments that has occurred. yes, indeed, we have a donate button and we will be very much encourage our viewers to make a donation but it's a wonderful opportunity to does. it's a wonderful opportunity to show that they really think this is a good idea. why that's important as we go out to the major funders, it would be very helpful for us to be able to show a lot of people have already donated and shown their interest in how important this is through their donation.
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so i would encourage all your viewers to do that, no matter how modest, $100, 50, 25, it doesn't matter. the numbers are more important at this point. >> and finally who are two of your favorite american authors from our past, or current? >> i have children and grandchildren. that's like asking me who was my favorite child and grandchild. there are so many and we are blessed that there are so many. i certainly have grown up in ireland and as a student, we anyway and find they will always remain favorites. in the nonfiction area, david mccullough. in most recent times i've gravitate more to the poets, and you know, i love the great poet. who can't? i mean, i have -- sitting on my nightstand which i turn to every night, every morning.
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so there are so many. >> malcolm o'hagan is the founder and chairman of the foundation of the american writer's museum. this is booktv. >> the 12th annual national book festival took place in sept number on the national mall in washington, d.c. booktv countered about the history and biography tent and also the contemporary pavilion. up next on booktv charles kupchan present his book, "no one's world: the west, the rising rest and the coming global turn." this is about 45 minutes. >> thank you very much, francis, for the warm introduction. thanks to all of you for coming out this afternoon. it's reassuring for those of us who toil away at writing books that we're not doing doing so in
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vain and that people actually occasionally read them and maybe the ideas trickle down into broader debates about the united states and its role in the world. just to set the record straight, that day in boston it was raining and about 51, 52 degrees. and so i was fine as long as i was running but then when i stopped running, my body temperature plunged. and francis just casually treated this event but i think she may have, i don't know if she saved my life but she certainly wrapped me up in lots of blankets and supplied with all kinds of drinks, perhaps good ones as well as bad ones, but whatever you did work. because we're both standing here today. >> if you took a snapshot of the world in the year, let's say 1700, you would see a world in
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which power was broadly diffused around the world. here in north america there really wasn't much economic or military capabilities, but across the atlantic and across the pacific there was a great deal, and power was roughly equally distributed across five men and real centers of power. the holy roman empire, in europe, the ottoman empire in what is today turkey, the mogul empire, present-day india, the ching dynasty, temporary china, and the tokugawa shogunate in japan. each of these fears had its own way of governing on its own cultural and political approach to commerce, and order. if you fast-forward about 100, 120 years to the 19th century, the world changed dramatically.
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power had shifted from the west and the south to the north. and by 1815, the end of the napoleonic wars, europe had pulled ahead of the rest of the world. and the industrial revolution and the development of the steam engine and the development of steel and battleships, and the telegraph and underground, the underwater submarine cable enabled europe, not just to be the most powerful place in the world, but to extend its reach globally. and by the end of the 19th century, europe had either colonized or had already de- colonized 90% of the world landmass. and we have been living in the world since 1815 dominated by the west. economically, politically and ideologically. first it was europe, then europe
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handed over the baton to the united states after pearl harbor, and roughly 1815 until today, europe, the united states and i would talk japan in there because they have been part of the western alliance system and the western liberal democratic capital system since 45, this section of the world has really been at the front of history. and what i'd like to suggest this afternoon and what i write about in my book is that the global order is starting to change again. the pendulum is swinging in a way that it hasn't slung since the 1700s. but this next global turn, this new swing of the pendulum will be different than the last. why? because the last time the pendulum swung to the north and west and north america and europe were at the head of
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history for the next several hundred years. today, the pendulum is swinging everywhere and, therefore, nowhere. it's swimming to china, to india, to brazil, to turkey. the united states will do just fine in the 21st century but so will a host of developing countries that have been behind the west for many years. and as a consequence the 21st century will not be an american century. it will not be a chinese century, and nations into, in 18th century. it will be no one's world. it would be a world that for the first time in history will be integrated and globalized, smudged together, to use a technical term, but without the guardianship provided by the western anchor. what i'd like to do in the next 15 minutes or so is put some flesh on the bones, tell you i think we are at the cusp of that
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historical intersection. and then end i say a few things about what we as americans should do about it. that the pendulum is swinging and power diffusing is, in my mind, unstoppable. and i'll just try to out a few facts and figures, and i'm drawing mainly on projections from the world bank, the imf, the international monetary fund, and from goldman sachs. goldman sachs likes to do studies of future. united states is today by far the most rich country in the world. but the chinese are fast catching up. by 2027, the chinese economy is supposed to have an aggregate gdp, gross domestic product, equal to ours and then it will pull ahead.
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by 2025, according to projections, we will live in a three currency world. the dollar, the chinese renminbi, and the euro, as long as the euro survives which is looking somewhat more likely today i wouldn't bet a lot of money on it. and then perhaps the most stunning piece of information, we live in a world today in which four out of the five most wealthy countries are still western. there's only one country that makes the cut into the top five, and that is china, and take a minute number two. in other words, this is still a world dominated by the west. over the course of the next three to four decades that pecking order will be completely changed. of the top five countries in the world, only one western countries will make the cut in the year 2040, 2045, and that is the united states. and all the other top five countries will come from what is today the developing world.
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that this shift is occurring in addition vision of power is in some ways not that interesting. we know what happened but we know from history that power, overtime, the juices from the core to the periphery of the international system. i think the more interesting question is what does it mean for the way the world will work. what does it mean for the order that we americans and europeans have collectively build, what's called a liberal international order of the 20 and the 21st century. here i think is the interesting question. and there are two main views. i would say the dominant view, well represented in the building of the end of the mall, and in the state department at the other end of the mall is the view that this shift in the distribution of power will not find them in the change the world that we live in. why? because even though the west will lose its material promise, its ideological promise he will
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last a because the chinese convenience, the bristling from the turks and others will take the place in our order. they will dock in our harbor. in other words, the western liberal order of capitalism, liberal democracy and secular nationalism is about to be universalized. this is what frank folkie ami famously called the end of history about 20 years ago. i don't think it's going to be that easy. i think that by 2030, 2040, we will live in a world in which the west in an ideological sense finds itself only one of multiple versions of maternity that will have to compete in the marketplace of ideas. with state capitalism in russia, china and the persian gulf, with political islam in the middle east. with a left wing grant a democratic populism in latin america. and then out expect nation that every country would actually
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converge and ultimately want to look like us will not prove to be accurate. let me give you a sense as to why i think we are heading toward diversity rather than toward ideological convergence. in my mind, the rise of the west followed a unique political and social trajectory. we as americans find our roots in the year 1000, 1100, when europe began to fragment. when the three traditional institutions of authority, the monarchy, the ability -- nobility and the catholic church began to lose their strangled over society. blacksmiths, early bankers, early professionals began to push back against traditional society. and that middle-class grew in size and strength and became the
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vanguard of the revolution that became the west. about religious pluralism to the reformation, and then when you about political pluralism. because monarchs said to the rising middle class, we want your money to fight wars, and the middle class and find them you want our money, we have political voice. and it was that rights of middle-class societies that gave rise to liberal democracy. it and i can lead americans and west europeans against communism. communism generally spread in poor societies, in peasant societies. in working-class societies, middle-class societies where stakeholders and tempted to follow a trajectory toward liberal democracy. is that happening around rest of the world today? is china following a cultural and social economic trajectory that will make china look like
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us 20, 30, 40 years from now? no. why? what are some of the differences? unlike the states of europe that were dumb enough to try to push back against their middle-class, china is doing exactly the opposite. it is embracing its middle-class. it is making its middle-class stakeholders in one party rules. and that is one of the reasons that when you look at the stability of the chinese government today, you see a likely prospect of continuation not change. because those individuals with the power to change the system don't want to change it because they are the main beneficiary. and ever since deng xiaoping privatize the system and allowed businessmen to become party members and party members to become businessmen, state capitalism, a market economy married with one party rule has been enormously successful.
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and women look at the world today and ask, is there a country after that is actually performing reasonably well economically and politically and making relatively inefficient decisions, the answer is yes. china is not doing a bad job. they aren't worried because they're slowing from 10% to 8% annual growth. we would be envious to have that kind of growth. i'm not saying that china is going to be the next century i'm not sick the chinese system will be replicated around the world. i'm simply saying their version of maternity, state capitalism as leg. it will be one way of organizing society for quite a long time. when i look at the middle east, i say yes, the middle east does seem to be breaking our way, or to the door democracy is putting down roots. but there's a significant difference between what is happening in the middle east today and our experience.
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and that fundamental difference has to do with relationship between church and state. mosque and state, religious and politics. our pass of maternity went to the transformation of the reformation. and after half of the german population died in a 30 year war, european diplomats forged peace of westphalia in which they basically said it is time to take religion and put it outside politics. and it took a long time to get there, but we live in a society today in which there is a legal constitutional separation of church and state. in middle east there is no such separation. in the evolution of the ottoman empire and the muslim middle east there was no and for fighting with the pope because it was both, secular power and religious power were merged into
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one. and that is why participatory democracy in the middle east is leading to a brand of democracy that is favoring political islam. in which the mosque and the states are coming back together being rejoined because that is what the political culture in the middle east wants. and in every country with the exception of tunisia, excuse me, libya in which there has been an election, parties favored political islam have been the beneficiaries. i'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. i'm not saying here come the islamists are i think it's a different way of thinking about how to organize political and commercial life. my guess is that egypt 10, 15 years from now will be a stable democracy, but they will have a view of order, commerce, religion and its relationship to politics that will look quite different from ours. finally, take the example of,
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say, india and brazil, countries that are already liberal democracies and secular. they are as well following their own path to modernity. actions by the fact that in part they are still largely rural and urban poor societies, not middle-class societies. and there's an assumption in this country that because they are democratic, they will side with us. well, i think some days they will side with us in the days they will side with other emerging powers. turkey, brazil, india, they are democratic powers but when you look at voting in the u.n., when you look at their position on iran, when you look at their position on other issues, they as often as not tide against the west rather than with the west, and that is a simpler by moving to a world in which there will be great diversity. as to how countries fashioned their own versions of maternity
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and allowing themselves to politically. -- align themselves geopolitically. let me begin to him by offering some thoughts on what we do about this. moving to a world in which we are globalized and interdependent, but in which there's no single, single captain at the helm, is a world that provides great opportunities but also great risk. we have never lived in a world in which decisions made in beijing immediately impact decisions made in brussels which immediate impact decisions here which immediately impact decisions in brasilia. we need to figure out how to manage that world, how to provide global governance in a world that is not only multipolar in the sense of multiple poles of power, but also quite ideologically diverse. and i will and simply with offering free thoughts on what
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we as americans can do to try to prepare that world. so first is get our own house in order. in the end of the day, america's strength abroad has always been grounded in its strength at home. and we are moving into a world in which we need to have our lights on, in which we need to be able to look out of the world and figure out what is coming around the curve. and i get it right now because of the slow down in our economy and the polarization that has set the building behind us, we are not ready to do that. and if one thinks back and thinks that the great age of american engagement in the world, really from franklin roosevelt to bill clinton, it has rested upon a bipartisan compact between moderate and centrist republicans and moderate and centrist democrats. that sweet spot, the political center in american life is now
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in very bad shape. and we need to figure out how to breathe new life into it, because in many respects our centrism, unreasonableness at home is the foundation for our ability to manage challenges abroad. and in my mind the first order of business is to get our economy going again, and in particular, to restore the optimism and the prosperity of our middle class. that in my mind is what really gave life to the bipartisan centrism of the long era of the 20th century. that our middle class is at the losing end of our economic contact now, it's one of the reasons that ideological partisanship has come back to american political life. the second piece of advice i would give is that the united states should be careful as a power that is going to have to focus on this big question of
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global governance or global order of not getting distracted. we fit over the last 10, 15 years we have tried to become the victor of last resort, going into countries like iraq and afghanistan and trying to turn them into liberal democracies. that has proved to be a bridge too far. we need to keep our powder dry. we need to husband our resources. we need to focus on these big issues of the rise of china, the diversification of global order, and avoid getting bogged down in wars of choice that have a high likelihood of turning into black holes. the final point is that getting right this next era in global politics involves recognizing that lies ahead. the united states will have more influence than any other countries on shaping the 21st century, and that's because we
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will have an economy that is either number one or number two for the foreseeable future. we will have a military that is number one well into the 21st century, but we will not enjoy the influence that has come our way for the last 50 years, or 200 years, if you include the dominance of europe. but we need to see that that world is changing. if we stick our head in the sand and assume that the western order will be universalize, i fear we will get it wrong. if we look around the curve and see that the world is diversifying, that the western way is alive and well but will be only one of multiple versions and how to organize political life in the 21st century, then i think we may well get it right. and in many respects, what we need to do intellectually and politically is to do exactly what the west did 300 years ago when it was born.
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and that was, number one, be comfortable with the diffusion of power from monarchs to normal people. and number two, be comfortable with religious political and ideological diversity. because it was comfort with diversity that allowed europe to find peace and to enjoy the benefits of the industrial revolution. as we sea state capitalism rise, as we see political islam spread, we should not fear it. in some ways, the trick is to recognize that it will be a part of the world that we live in, and to channel it in the right direction. and if we do that, except the diffusion of power, except that we're heading toward political diversity. i think the 20% will be one of the most prosperous and stable centuries with ever lived in. if we get it wrong, it could well be a very dangerous and very divided century. we need to get it right. and you very much.
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[applause] >> i welcome your questions and comments. there's a microphone right here, and one here. please. >> [inaudible] >> not yet. there we go. >> a question for you. in your talk today, you didn't mention environment and natural resource factors, global population growth of over 7 million. how would you factor such as lester brown, who is a fight of the worldwide institute and wrote world on the edge, he was concerned that we aren't taking these factors into account, especially the ability of the land is being degraded, the water is being degraded, and the inability of agricultural innovation to be able to feed?
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he argues destabilization. would you comment on where -- is he totally out to lunch in your view, or are these factors really important in looking at the overall equation you are putting forward? >> i think it's a very important issue that you have raised. and it magnifies the challenges that we have before us. you know, i think that, that we have become somewhat complacent about order and about relations among great powers. and we have assumed that the real challenges of our time come from yemen, iraq, libya. but i worry that history is picking up again, and that competition over water, over oil, over natural gas, over at arable land is going to get more and more intense.
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as india and china continue to industrialize, they're going to need a lot of energy and they're going to need a lot of food. where are they going to give it? that makes the sea lanes of communication all the more important. it makes access to land all the more important. and that's why i think we need to think now about how to create cooperative multilateral mechanisms to manage those issues. the arctic, there was an article in the paper just the other day about the heating up of competition over minerals and sea lanes in the arctic because pretty soon there will be no ice in the summer. it's better to think about that now and to sit down with other countries and map out a way to manage that than to stick our heads in the sand, but that's one of the reasons that i think restoring our political solvency, giving our fundamental institutions of representative
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governments back on their feet is the first half. once you do that then you can go out and address these other issues. >> you will see the future world as multi-power world. i wonder, how do you see u.s. national security and defense change them or the notion of it changing in that world? thank you. >> you know, i think that historically speaking we've been living in a world in which either the united kingdom or the united states have been a global provider of security for a long time. they underwrite the open trade, giunta right the international support, used to be the telegraph. but this infrastructure of the global system has depended to some extent on there being a
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hierarchy in the international system. and when you're in a world in which there is less hierarchy than reaching agreement becomes more difficult. i'm someone who believes in american ideas and american ideals are i think those ideas and ideals have a great deal of traction and appeal around the world, but also believe that the appeal of our ideas is very difficult to untangle from our power. and the american way has been very alluring, in part because it's attached to the dollar into the aircraft carriers. and when we're in a world in which there are other countries out there, and i think it gets more complicated. that's what i think ideologically speaking it's going to be a diverse world, not a world that follows one path. in terms of national security, i
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think the u.s. will remain because of our military security -- superiority, the main country that provides what we call public goods. we have 11 or 12 aircraft carriers. the chinese have just loaded a bathtub that they bought from the ukrainians and they're kind of figure out how to land an airplane on. it's going to be a long time before china comes anywhere near the united states as a global military power. but it's because of the importance of our ability to sustain its global infrastructure that i worry a lot about avoiding the kinds of efforts to become the fixer of last resort. when we get mired in afghanistan, when we try to turn iraq into a democracy, they are serious opportunity costs. there's a punchline i guess would be we need to pick our shots much more carefully, because we have a huge first
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order business managing the world in which power will be more equally distributed. >> very interesting talk, sir. >> thank you. >> but sort of to get some of the points you are raising, egypt and tunisia, in the middle east as essentially, they voted for a against modernity, against commercialism, against an industrial society. if you look at the two people morrissey put in deployment, i mean, the head supreme court, the head of the military, i mean, how can you build a society within a clip 50% of the people working? okay, we're not going to educate them. how can you build a society where the general is now talking about half of the senior
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enlisted in egypt and military, talking about throwing them out of the country saying that they are not -- i'm, then when you look at and it, yes, you are right but you talked about a very small percentage of the indian population. if you look at, i mean, very little of the indian population goes to iit, okay. if you look at india, you're talking about 90, 95% of the population is uneducated. and they are doing nothing to educate them. and if you look at china, you are right that they are trying to have, to franchise their middle class, but they are not trying to take the peasants and bring them in the middle class. and so on those three points, i don't see what you're talking
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about, and other people like tom friedman said it's going to take, like, 75 years he thinks for the middle east now to have a modern society. >> right. those are all i've been very good and valid points. i would just rephrase the first sentence, which he said that the egyptians voted against modernity. i would say that the egyptians voted for their own brain of motor navy, and that -- brand of modernity. and what we are seeing in the middle east is voters would like to see more religion in politics. and in turkey, i think we're seeing a country that is modernizing. it's middle class is growing. its wealthier, and its main party is an islamist party that is trying to create a pluralist immigrant society infused by islamic values.
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that's what the people of turkey want. i don't think it's our responsibility or obligation to tell them that they shouldn't want that. and i hope the turkish model succeeds because i think it would be a model for the rest of the region. and so that's part of what i think what we're witnessing is the different paths. now, you're right to say that they have a lot of tasks ahead of them to build a prosperous society and to find jobs for people when the military owns about 50% of the country's wealth. but they are starting down that path. india, you're right, they have a lot of work to do in educating their people and getting to people out of poverty. but they will, within the next 15 years or so, how the world's largest labor force. their population is going to cost china's. sometime around 2025, and they come in some ways not
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politically incorrect to put it this way, but one of the reasons they lack so far behind china is because of democracy. their democratic institutions are much less efficient than china's demand institutions, and china has therefore been able to do a better job of educating and influencing its citizens. again, the main point here is that there are these different models out here. they have strength and weaknesses, and that's what i think in the 21st century we will do just fine, but our approach to organizing society, organizing markets, organizing governments will prove to be one, not the only one. >> here in this country how well do you think we're educating, preparing the political class that will lead this nation in the next generation, the middle the -- military leadership that
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will lead our military in the next generation and the voting public for the world that you have outlined? >> you know, i think that this story that i told about a global turn, i focus mainly on the flow of power and wealth in the developing world. but it's in a store here at home as well. and i think that it cannot be accidental that the united states, europe and japan are all stumbling at the same time. and the reason i think that we are stumbling is because of globalization. because 200 plus billion workers have entered the global economy, and they have decrease the wages and some have taken away the jobs of american workers, japanese workers and american workers. and we need to figure out american economy to point out. what are american middle-class workers going to do in a world in which we are not going to be able to compete with china in
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building whatever they are building. and the answer is, we've got to educate them to get those jobs, to kind of we build our middle-class. they are i think we are failing. i think when it comes to the upper stratum of american society, we are doing very well. we have the best universities in the world. we have the most entrepreneurial spirit in the world, but there needs to be growth from the center out rather than from just the top, doesn't trickle down as much and i think many people would like. and, therefore, i think figuring out how to get our primary education system going again, figure out where we should invest in our infrastructure, a research and development. these are critical steps to preparing the country, to preparing ordinary american voters with a big task that we have ahead of us.
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>> currently, there is a substantial investment among a lot of people in the country in the notion of american exceptionalism. that america is special. some people think it's a god-given blessing, other people just think it's a factor of history. and i have a perception that this notion of american exceptionalism, one, makes the people who hold that less tolerant of diversity around the world, and two, less tolerant of diversity about ideas internally. and i think we can see that clip we saw the play out on the republican primary, where people develop parities almost of a conservative agenda. and then lastly, american exceptionalism i think leads people to not want to say america has to compete in the world economy. we had, you know, from the 1945 to the 1970s, we did not have,
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we were the last industrial nation standing. and that's changed, so your sense about -- >> i think there is an exceptionalism to the united states that's rooted in our history and our political culture, in our fierce individualism the but that, now, in the political season, people tend to get carried away with it. and that, number one, american exceptionalism should not be an excuse for not dealing with problems. we can't hide behind the american exceptionalism. we can acknowledge it, except that, and then say, here are the things we need to do to fix our country. and secondly, precisely because we are exceptional and i followed a unique social economic and cultural and political trajectory, i don't
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think that our model is going to be replicated around the world. right, and, therefore, the idea that we are exceptional and, therefore, will go out and we create the world and american image, is a mistake. i think it should be we have followed our own path but it's an exceptional one. it's a unique one in history, and the other countries are finding their own paths to modernity. that to me is the essential turn in the way we think about the world, that we need to make to accept the diversity and the diffusion of power that i think is looming on the horizon. >> first, thank you very much for your comments. my question is this. what do you see as the future of the european union, how do you sesee a change in the next 10, , 20 years?
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>> if we had this conversation 10 years ago, i would've been very bullish about the european union, because i thought europe was engaging in an experiment not unlike ours. that is to say, little by little passing power from the separate sovereign states up to a federation or confederation that would turn europe into something that enjoyed unity. not a federal-state like we have, but something that was able to project its voice external in the world. it could be a credible partner of the united states. that hasn't happened. europe has hit the skids, and i think that it's not just about the euro crisis here it is about a renationalization of political life. political life as a drop down from brussels to berlin, from brussels to paris can from brussels to rome, in a way that
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has made it very hard for the e.u. to thrive. and it is today an uneasy tension between the collective governance that europe needs to thrive, and the political strength in europe which has become somewhat anti-european. i think they have turned the corner. i think they have found a formula for keeping greece in, for allowing the euro to survive. and european leaders like chancellor merkel in germany are starting to lead and talk about the importance of european experiments which has revolution, historical importance. so i'm getting bullish again. but if you were to say to me, you know, what keeps me up at night, i still worry about the global financial crisis spreading outward, because the euro zone goes belly up. and if that happens it's going to be ugly.
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i think we have run out of time. i apologize to you by two or three people in line, but i'll be happy to answer your questions personally after the talk. thank you very much. [applause] >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span.org. or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> growing up in the nuclear shadow is a book about my childhood and -- i grew up about seven miles from the rocky flats nuclear weapons plant. and actually our first house is about seven miles away, and then in 1969 we moved to a subdivision which was closer to the plant, about three, three and a half miles away from the flats.
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my sisters and brother and i, we had an idyllic childhood in since we had horses and dogs and with a lot of time outdoors riding our horses in the field around the plant. and swinging in a lake. we never knew what went on at rocky flats. but we had no idea what it really was. and we had no idea of environmental contamination that was happening in the area. for toning and tritium, a number of different things in the environment that we had no idea. later, like many kids in my neighborhood, i worked at the plant myself. and got a sense of what it's like to be on the inside of the plant. there was one evening when i came home from working at rocky flats, and turn on the television and it was a show on "nightline" that it was an exposé of what was really happening at the plant. and it was the first time that it really had an awareness, we
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had an understanding of what was happening at rocky flats and how extraordinary the contamination was. >> it was on the day that i decided to quit my job at rocky flats and day out what was the episode i would write a book about it. it took me about 10 years of research and writing to pull this story together. and it went away to book that reads like a novel, but it's very heavily footnoted everything in the book is factual so you can check in the back and see where the information comes from. but i wanted to write this story from the perspective of all different kinds of peoples whose lives have been affected by rocky flats. not just for evidence, but workers at rocky flats, some of the activists, all the different people, thousands and thousands of people in colorado and beyond who are affected by rocky flats. another reason why i felt very passionate about this story is that there is, we continue to do
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with the legacy of our nuclear weapons production in this country, in so may different ways to environmental legacy and then also the cultural legacy of how important this plant was and the way it affected people, people who were not aware of how they're being affected. when i went to the plant it was very common for workers to call ourselves cold war warriors to the people who are right on the fine, but for the people who grew up near rocky flats, we also worked cold war warriors. no one told us. we did know what was happening at the plant to the rumor in the neighborhood was that the plant was operated by dow chemical and it went out there making household cleaning supplies. my mother thought they were making scrubbing bubbles, and it was really apparent for quite a long time what was actually going on. and what happened at rocky flats now is that there has been a cleanup and a very controversial cleanup, controversial levels of contamination remaining in the soil, and 1300 acres of that
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site are still profoundly contaminated that they can never ever be open for human habitation. and the rest of the site is slated to open as a national wildlife refuge for hiking and biking and possibly hunting. so even though there's still a great deal of contamination on the site and there's a lot of homebuilding and shopping malls and highways in all sorts of things going on out there. so i felt that even though in colorado and the country as a whole i think would like to forget that rocky flats ever happened, the story would like to put in the past and pretend it's all fixed and we don't have to deal with it anymore. but the truth of the matter is it's a very important story that will have to continue to deal with now in the future. plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years but it's not going away anytime soon. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at booktv.org. here's a look at some books that are being published this week.
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>> the same course we've been on will not lead to their destination. the same path we're on means on means $20 trillion in debt the end of a second term that he won't have. it means tripling unemployment. it means stagnant take-home pay, depressed home values, a devastated military, and by the way, unless we change course we may be looking at another recession. so the question of this election comes down to this. do you want more of the same or do you want real change? >> we know what change looks like and what governor romney -- give them more power to the biggest banks is in change. another $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, that's not change. refusing to answer questions about the details of your policy
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days ahead of election, that has not changed. ruling out compromise by pledging rubberstamped a tea party folks in congress. that's not change. changing the facts whether inconvenience to your campaign, not change. >> watch live election coverage on c-span with president obama from chicago and mitt romney in boston. plus key house and senate concession and victory speeches throughout the country. live coverage starts at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> it really was scary. before we liberated. let's say, in baker county. but to have this happen, to have a blogger, i mean, you are only
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trying to do the best that you can for everyone, and to have someone take your words, to use the equipment that they have today to cut, splice, to make your message appeared to be back opposite back opposite of what it is and was, it's just an unbelievable situation. and it is a way to care by someone. because you don't know that you've ever really be able to get the truth out. i was determined, even if i had to tell one person at a time. so then it makes me think of it, this whole media kind of energy around this book, but the last time it was this kind of energy me was that.
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you're going back to those places to the people who are making those accusations, calling you a racist by the speed at which that happened, how do you feel now that you do have the whole story? >> it feels good that, that first of all, that i was able to use that same media in the sense to be able to get the story, the right story out. it feels, gosh, i can't explain how great it feels to be able to sit here to hear the actors really, oh, my goodness, i don't know -- is really amazing. i didn't ever think years ago that he didn't want people to forget my father and what he meant to us. i had no idea i would be able to tell the story in this way. it feels great.
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>> was so beautiful about the book? i feel like it's more than a book. it's a living history. it's like a love letter to choices, and it reminds us that without the feelings, the facts don't convey enough of what history has been. and that is brutal as -- [inaudible] there has been humanity and love and family and choice and possibility. so i wonder if you could go back, raise in the jim crow south, and you were a total daddy's girl. i know you're trying to get -- [inaudible] tell me a bit about that. >> well, you know, we were in baker county. you hear about, you read about
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some of the earlier years, but the sheriff in our county wanted to be known as -- everything, everyone in the county, you can't imagine looking at from earlier days can anyone like him but he was worse than what you see in your worst western. but growing up in that, my family lived, my great, great grandparents had come to baker county, i don't know whether they came as slaves or not, but i know the candidate of their as sharecroppers and with the intent on buying land. and that they did. they bought enough land that the area where i grew up was, still today, called hawkins down. lots of families, but it was that what communism the hawkins
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lived in one area, the williams and another, but we were all one big family. and felt we had to help each other. and so i was raised up on a farm, and my father, five girls, any farmer wants a son but i guess any man wants his son but my mother and father kept having babies and they were all girls. now, we all had boys nicknames. i was theo. [laughter] >> that is hilarious. >> but, you know, in the situation we were in, we felt safe and comfortable there. and i feel like my father, he wanted us to have an education. he knew that education was the key to a better life. but i really think he thought all of us would just come right back home and try to work from there. >> you can watch this and other
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programs on line at booktv.org. >> here's a look at some of the upcoming book sellers understa d festivals coming up. >> please let us know about book there's a vessel in your area and will we happy to add them to our list.